Warm weather, open windows: How to protect kids from window falls
With the recent warm weather, it's a good time to remind parents of the dangers that open windows pose to children.
If you have young children in your home, be extra cautious about which windows you open and how far you open them. Kids are curious by nature and top-heavy by design, so an open window can be an invitation to trouble.
Falls are the leading cause of injury hospitalization for children in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Who is at risk? Particularly boys under the age of 5, but we recommend you secure any accessible windows more than six feet off the ground for all children under age 7.
Tips to prevent window falls
- Do not rely on window screens; they are designed to keep bugs out, not kids in.
- Limit window openings to four inches or less by adding a window stop, which can be purchased at a hardware store or online.
- If a window must be open more than four inches, use an operable window guard instead.
- Choose window stops/guards that can be removed by an adult in an emergency (but avoid letting your child watch you open one).
- Only open windows outside of a child’s reach or climbing distance.
- Keep furniture away from windows to discourage little climbers.
- Teach children not to play near windows, but don’t rely on them to remember that.
- Plant grass or shrubbery beneath windows to soften the impact surface in case of a fall.
Tips for childproofing your home
About the Mary Bridge Center for Childhood Safety
Mary Bridge’s Center for Childhood Safety's mission is to prevent unintentional childhood injury through health education, community partnerships and best practice prevention strategies. Learn more
About The Author
Erin Summa is a Health Promotion Coordinator with the Mary Bridge Center for Childhood Safety.
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